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Oil Kings pull off major roster shakeup with trades involving 18 players and picks

The last-place Edmonton Oil Kings will look a whole lot different the next time they take to the ice at Rogers Place.

The Western Hockey League team announced a pair of massive trades Wednesday, involving a total of seven players and 11 draft picks.

The first deal sees forward Andrej Tomasec, a 2025 first-round pick, a conditional 2025 second-round pick and a 2026 third-round pick coming from the Moose Jaw Warriors.

Forward Rilen Kovacevic, defenceman Vojtech Port and a 2024 sixth-round pick are headed the other way.

The second deal will bring Grande Prairie-born brothers Gracyn and Lukas Sawchyn to Edmonton along with defenceman Tracen Ashley.

In exchange, Edmonton is sending forward Nathan Pilling, five draft picks and two conditional draft picks to the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Gracyn Sawchyn, 18, is a second-round draft pick of the Florida Panthers and has amassed 21 points in 17 games with Seattle.

“We are extremely excited to be adding a player and person of Gracyn’s calibre to our organization,” said Oil Kings President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Kirt Hill.

“He brings a very driven approach to the game and will add speed, skill, and competitiveness to our lineup.”

Lukas Sawchyn, 16, is currently playing for the Chicago Steel in the United States Hockey League. Hill said the Oil Kings will talk to him and his family about coming to Edmonton.

“Lukas is someone we are very familiar with having scouted him intricately before the 2022 WHL U.S. Priority Draft, and he is a player who would be an impact forward in our league, having the skill set and speed he plays the game at,” Hill said.

The Oil Kings have won just nine of 30 games this year and sit at the bottom of the WHL standings.

Edmonton plays in Prince George Wednesday. The Oil Kings next home game is on Jan. 11.

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